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Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is the host of Parental Discretion on NickMom as well as the author of four books including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. She also hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud.

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Lindsay Lohan and I Have A Lot in Common

By Stefanie Wilder Taylor |

176677-lindsay-lohan-mug-shot

Lindsay Lohan and I have a lot in common even though she might not think so. We both have a problem with alcohol. Neither of us has meant to get drunk and screw up, but it just happened. Kind of a lot. Both of us have felt misunderstood. We’ve both wondered why we so often set out to have one glass of wine and end up having six. We’ve probably both used excuses like, “but the drinks were free and I lost track” or “I only had a couple but I forgot to eat first” or my favorite, “I wasn’t even that drunk!” In fact, I’d say there really is only one main difference between us regarding our relationship with booze:

Today, I am celebrating four years of sobriety and at least according to recent media reports, Lindsay is not ready.

It’s been four years since I had the moment of clarity and could see, really see that alcohol was making my life unmanageable and always had.  But I wasn’t ready to quit until the moment I was – and seeing as I only quit when I was 42 years old, that’s a lot of years I wasn’t ready. Lindsay isn’t even twenty-seven.

030Sure from the outside looking in our drinking histories may seem pretty different: LoLo has received DUI’s, crashed her Mercedes and been arrested on a possession of cocaine charge. Well, when I was in my twenties I also did quite a bit of drunk driving –the only difference, mine was in a filthy yellow Mazda GLC with a rust hole straight through the driver’s side floor. It wouldn’t accelerate past 40 mph on the highway, which could be the reason I was never busted.

Lindsay has partied hard in VIP lounges from Manhattan to LA. I’ve gotten shitfaced at the Red Onion in Marina Del Rey, drunk half priced strawberry daiquiris on Ladies’ Night and made out with men wearing parachute pants. So yeah, again I kind of relate.

If you think I’m being flippant about Lindsay or myself or alcoholism I’m not. This shit is no joke. But when you aren’t ready to quit, you’re just not going to no matter how many people may look at you and see a blinking neon sign saying “I have a drinking problem!”

Most people who suspect they have a drinking problem but don’t want to admit it even to themselves spend an inordinate of time comparing their drinking to other people’s drinking. We can almost always find a way to look better, more together more functional. There is always something we haven’t done yet.

A lot of us could die from the “yets.”

So okay Lindsay’s been in rehab a few times, crashed cars, spent time in the pokey (87 minutes), lost work opportunities, shamed herself publicly, scared her family, lied to police etc. but when she was recently interviewed by Piers Morgan and asked if she drinks a lot she answered, “Not really. I’ve never been a huge drinker. I’ve never woken up in the morning and had a drink.” You see? She’s not that bad. I so get that. I’d never have a drink in the morning either. At least never before brunch. And, yeah, sometimes brunch is at 9 am! Who are you to judge, Captain Harshy!

In retrospect I find it laughable that I spent so many years unconvinced I could possibly be an alcoholic because of course there were many signs along the way. I just usually buzzed past them hoping they were just a phase. There were one or two times throughout my life that I did suspect I had a problem so much that I went to a 12 Step meeting. But I never stuck around because that was for people who really had a bad problem, you know, those morning drinkers. Not for someone like me who just liked to drink a little too much and needed to learn to control it better.

Lindsay knows that feeling too. She released a statement in 2007 where she said, “It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs.” Obviously she backed off of that soon after.

Four years ago, I finally had a moment of clarity and realized that just because I hadn’t crashed a car, gotten a DUI, cheated on my husband or been forced to rehab, it was time to quit. No one had to tell me or push me. I knew. And once you know, really really know, you can’t un-know it.

When I have a glass of wine, a Vicodin, a shot of Patron, a Baileys and coffee…whatever…I can’t be sure if I’ll have one more or five more and I can’t take that chance. But it took an awful lot of glasses of wine and shots of tequila to convince me absolutely. It took doing things drunk that I would never ever do sober to realize that I’m just not someone who can drink.

So today (May 22nd) I am celebrating four years of sobriety and I’m happier than I ever thought possible but when I blow out my four candles and make a wish I will be wishing for Lindsay Lohan and all the others just like her. Just like me.

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About Stefanie Wilder Taylor

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Stefanie Wilder Taylor

Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is the host of Parental Discretion on NickMom as well as the author of four books including Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay and Naptime Is the New Happy Hour. She also hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud. Read bio and latest posts → Read Stefanie's latest posts →

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20 thoughts on “Lindsay Lohan and I Have A Lot in Common

  1. Suebob says:

    Happy birthday, and thanks for helping so many people along the way.

    One of my friends taught mandatory classes people take after a DUI…he said no one ever thought they had a drinking problem (that they admitted to). Hint: if you have a DUI, you have a drinking problem.

    I’m a month and a half sober. I’m not sure how to categorize how much of a drinking problem I had. I just wanted a better life, and for me, that’s enough.

  2. Dawn Nickel says:

    Wow – congratulations on four years, Stefanie. That is amazing. Your good friend Ellie was telling me all about you when she and I spoke on the phone on Monday. I look forward to checking out your books and sharing about them on my facebook page (She Recovers) and on our website where I have a “reading room.” I hope you have a great day! Hugs ~Dawn~

  3. margalit says:

    I remember so clearly the day you posted that you were going to stop drinking. There was such conviction in your voice and I knew that you were being totally honest. I didn’t doubt you for a second. I just wish I could get that feeling of surety with other bloggers that remind me more of Lindsay Lohan than you ever did.

  4. Coleen Rybandt says:

    From one recovering alcoholic to another, well said Stefanie!

  5. Tyler Adkins says:

    I think that we all need some kind of help. I myself have a porblem with beers. I am not talking about the light stuff, i am talking about Vodka, wisky, and Wild Turky. I love to drink! I don’t that i will ever stop. However, there are a lot of prblems that that! i say that everybody stop and think about their own porbems before they start worrying about other’s.

  6. sober too says:

    26 years and it keeps getting better!! The best is yet to come!!

    Congratulations..

  7. Barb says:

    Congrats to you Stefanie. I know where you’ve been and the work it took to get where you are. I recently celebrated 25 years. It seems like only yesterday, and a million years ago. After so many years I look back and wonder who was that girl. Wishing you so many more celebrations. And to those still suffering, I wish them hope.

  8. graceful daze says:

    “No one had to tell me. But I knew. And this time, I can’t un-know it.” I totally get that when you can’t ‘un-know’ something.

    This is such a true statement. At 57 and many, many drinks later I have a whopping 24 days of sobriety under my belt. I have been pondering what made it different too this time and that statement sums it up. I have been very, very, very I did not fuck things up any worse than I did. That is to say no legal issues, remained functional and only putting my family thru hell. 4 years, congrats…I look forward to the day when I can say the same. Thanks Stefanie.

  9. Dr Bob says:

    With all that is in me, good for you, your courage, and your spirit. Stay well, girl. Rock on.

  10. Liane Loveday says:

    I wish I had four years…..I have such promise as a nurse. What am I doing…..? I don’t like to drink….it makes me sad….Why do I do it?
    I stumbled upon your article….is it a sign?

  11. Susan Neal says:

    This is a wonderful article. Congrats to you on your sobriety. I grew up with an alcoholic father…it will drive you crazy. With age and attending AA ALONE (attended alone cause he didnt have a problem HA! I have come to terms with many things. .
    Again, I enjoyed the article and wish you the best of luck.

  12. Suzanne B. says:

    So my store, thanks for sharing.

  13. Linda says:

    Congratulations! I could definitely resonate will your words. I have been sober for 10 years now and would not have it any other way :)
    Many Blessings,
    Linda

  14. Sheena says:

    Congrats Stefanie, today is my 142nd day of sobriety. I too did not experience anything that would be conceived as having a real problem. But I did. And nothing is truer for me then what you say here ……..
    “When I have a glass of wine, a Vicodin, a shot of Patron, a Baileys and coffee…whatever…I can’t be sure if I’ll have one more or five more and I can’t take that chance. But it took an awful lot of glasses of wine and shots of tequila to convince me absolutely. It took doing things drunk that I would never ever do sober to realize that I’m just not someone who can drink.”

    I went from drinking daily, to new years eve doing a last shot toast… to now 142 days sober. Your words of strength gave me a will to continue on in my sober life.

    Thank you :)

  15. Carla Arno says:

    This was a amazing story I could totally relate if I had sat there and compared my drinking career to others there were a lot of those things I hadn’t done yet either but they are all out there waiting for me . It’s amazing the things you can enjoy that we thought we could only enjoy with a drink congrats to you truly enjoyed this article

  16. CJ says:

    Congrats on four years. However, I’m not sure the goal of this post. Are you trying to provide insight to her perspective for the rest of us? If so, I don’t see why that’s necessary. What is important, she’s garnered multiple DUI’s, she’s wrecked an automobile under the influence, and she’s in no way able to solve her substance issues. So maybe on that last point, your post is relevant. But you know what that tells me? She’s a danger to people around her, in her hands you can’t know if/when her car will be a weapon. And she has no ability yet to control herself. All the more reason she needs to be locked away for a very long time; until she IS ready to fix herself. Its no longer about her. Its about everyone in her vicinity who is one drink and a bad swerve of a car away from death.

  17. Tanisha says:

    Thank you for sharing that, I am dealing with that right now and going to group therapy. I relapsed last night and paying for it today. I had been sober for 2-1/2 weeks and for an recovering alcoholic like myself it’s a big change. Like you I knew I had a problem and got help for myself on my own. I have been doing and feeling so great, eating healthy, good rest, going to church and doing positive things. Today I have an upset stomach, and a headache. And it reminded me of the reason I don’t want to drink anymore. Your testimony could have came at a better time, it was God sent, for me to read this today. If you can do it so can I, and so can Lindsey. I am going to group today and admit it, deal with it, and move past it, and not to make this mistake again, start fresh tomorrow and continue my path on the right track. Please stay in touch with me. Pray for me and Lindsey and I will be praying for you both. God Bless!

  18. Sharon Baxter says:

    I am 57 years old with 31years and 10 months of sobriety and I will never judge someone and say they are not “ready”. I WILL pray that she receives the GIFT of desperation. I am so grateful to have a daily reprieve from this fatal disease. I was taught at the age of 19 to never look down upon someone unless I am helping them up, especially from the only disease known to mankind that tells you you don’t have it. Congrats on your 4 years and enjoy your journey.

  19. Jeffrey Blume says:

    After 26 years it’s still one day at a time.

  20. Jessica says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. My mother has struggled with drinking since she was 17. She only started to seek help for it 2 years ago at the age of 59. It destroyed our relationship. I never felt like I had a mother until a few years ago. Although she has gone through rehab, it still hasn’t been easy. We have lost family & friends over her decisions in life. It is a tough road, but I am glad that you have made it through. Here’s to you and many more years of sobriety.

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